Liverpool supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton last weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the Toffees off the back of a 13-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, a streak which has seen move above both Arsenal and Tottenham into fourth place in the division. And there may be a cup run to come as well for our resident Reds fans as goals from James Milner and Virgil van Dijk either side of a Gylfi Sigurdsson equaliser sealed a 2-1 success for Klopp’s men, who will go on to face Alan Pardew’s West Brom at the end of the month.
Subsequently, there have been many thrilled Liverpudlians in the Tavern this week, several of whom are daring to dream about what their team could go on to achieve this season, both domestically and in European competition.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for those Reds fans lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking them with a move for Roma goalkeeper Alisson.
The 25-year-old has kept 16 clean sheets in just 40 games for the Italian outfit since moving there back in 2016, and with the Serie A club reportedly needing to sell this summer in order to buy, Liverpool are reportedly keen on acquiring his services.
And while the Reds have been linked with several big name signings this month, namely Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, they should forget about those and instead focus all their attentions on landing Alisson, as his arrival could well turn them into Premier League title contenders.
And that’s because it’s not going forward that Liverpool need to strengthen, it’s their backline and goalkeeping ranks.
They’ve made inroads into doing so by spending £75 million on van Dijk, who has already proven some of his worth by netting the winner against Everton last week, while his overall presence in the back four appeared to have a positive effect on those around him.
However, it’s evident that the Reds still need a quality goalkeeper to really challenge for the title – look at Thibaut Courtois’ influence in helping Chelsea to the league last season, while the likes of Petr Cech and Edwin van der Sar were similarly outstanding for the Blues and Manchester United respectively.
It’s even arguable that Manchester City’s purchase of Ederson over the summer has been one of the biggest factors in their surge towards the title this term. While Pep Guardiola always wants a keeper who can play, the former Benfica shot-stopper has also made some key saves over the course of the campaign (the one at Old Trafford springs to mind).
Yet Liverpool haven’t got that calibre of goalkeeper in their ranks.
Both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius are decent shot-stoppers, but one wouldn’t put either of them in the same league as Ederson, Courtois, or United’s David de Gea – they are the sort of keepers Klopp needs to challenge for the league.
And, based on his efforts for Roma, Alisson could well be that keeper – after all, he’s the one keeping Ederson out of the Brazil team at the moment.
Just 39 goals against in 40 appearances for the Italian giants is a phenomenal record, and he is the keeper behind the backline that have conceded just 14 goals in Serie A so far this season – only leaders Napoli (13) have shipped fewer.
And while those numbers don’t necessarily mean that the 25-year-old is a good goalkeeper (it could all be down to the defence), he outweighs Mignolet in most departments, averaging more saves per match (2.53 to 1.53) and more saves per goal (3.43 to 1.21), while his distribution success also trumps the Belgian (85% to 75%).
Thus, Alisson is clearly the sort of goalkeeper Liverpool need to move to the next level, and while Philippe Coutinho’s departure does leave them shorter in the attacking ranks, Klopp must forget about forward reinforcements, and instead do all he can to bring the £14.4 million-rated keeper (as per Transfermarkt) to Anfield.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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